Product Reviews

Scoring Some Sweet Swag

One of the perks of working as a graduate assistant in an art ed department is occasionally walking into my office to discover free goodies on my desk. Sometimes the products I get are just free samples, but occasionally some of them are new products that are just hitting the market. Regardless of whether they’re new or old, it is always cool to score some sweet swag. Here’s a sampling of some of the stuff I’ve taken home over the last two semesters.

Here’s my quick little run down of the products and where you can purchase them* (top to bottom, left to right):
  1. Crayola® Twistables Slick Stix™ Crayon– These are more oil pastel than crayon, in my opinion. They remind me of lipstick tubes, and I can totally picture numerous little girls leaving my art room with gold lips because they thought the same thing. The product easily writes on skin and is slightly glittery, so… I’m not sure I would ever use these in my art room. At almost $1 a crayon, I don’t really think they’re worth the cost, but if you’re interested, you can find them here. Don’t expect to find the cool gold color I have though. Apparently they only come in the standard red, yellow, blue, green and orange colors. 
  2. Crayola® Dry-Erase Crayons– This is a really great idea. I can’t stand the smell of dry-erase markers, and I hate how quickly they fry out. I have yet to try these out since I don’t have access to a dry-erase board. I would be hesitant to use them without testing them out first. I’m a little doubtful of how well they would work, and more importantly, how well they would erase. That being said, at $4.99 per box 8, these might actually be worth the cost. Assuming they work just as well or better than the standard dry-erase markers. You can find them here
  3. Crayola® Triangular Crayon– I love this crayon. It fits very nicely in your fingers and the best part? It doesn’t roll! There’s nothing worse than having a First Grader dump out a box of crayons on their table, resulting in all the crayons rolling off the table and onto the floor. This crayon has won numerous awards, and I can see why. However, at $3.99 per 16 ct., they might not be for every classroom, especially with today’s constraints on budgets. You can find them here.
  4. Crayola® ??? Crayon– For the life of me, I cannot find this crayon anywhere. I can only assume it’s simply a wrapper-free crayon, which I think is a fairly genius idea. I hate finding peeled crayon wrapper all over my art room floor. This crayon is five-sided, which I’m not sure I understand. Maybe it’s to prevent rolling? Got me.
  5. Sax® Arts & Crafts Pencil Case– I’m pretty sure this is just a promotional item and isn’t for sale. I can’t find it anywhere on their website. However, navigating their website is kind of frustrating, so I didn’t spend too much time on it. I also have this case in blue.
  6. Westcott® Children’s Scissors with Microban® – Well, the idea of these is good, I guess. In my opinion, it’s not worth spending $1.99 on a pair antimicrobial scissors. I like the colors and the cushioning on the handle, but I have a hard time believing that an art room needs antimicrobial scissors. If you’re interested, you can find them here.
  7. Faber-Castell® PITT Artist Pens– These are pretty neat, but definitely not for use in the regular art room. The big brush is new and costs about $19.80 per wallet of 4. The regular sized ones cost about $16.45 per wallet of 6 and come in a variety of shades, however I didn’t come across the hot pink one I have. I don’t use pens very often in my work, but I imagine these are good quality pens. You can find them here.
  8. Faber-Castell® Art Grip Pencils, Aquarelle Pencils and Graphite Sketch Pencils– I love the look of these pencils and the grips feel great. They’re available as regular colored pencils and as watercolor pencils. I happen to love watercolor pencils. These are on the expensive side and would be great for a serious artist but not so much in a regular art room. You can find them here and here. I have used these graphite pencils frequently for sketching and happen to love them.
  9. Dick Blick® Note Pad Cover– This is most likely another promotional item and not available for sale. It came with a notepad and a discount coupon. Their website can be found here
  10. Crayola® Model Magic® – I love Model Magic®! I used it all the time in my art room. It’s great when you don’t have access to a kiln and can’t use clay. This pack happens to be blue. I’ve never used the colored Model Magic® in my room, because I like the versatility of the white. Model Magic® is available everywhere, but here’s their official site where they offer some great ideas.
  11. Fiskars® Kids Scissors – They’re Fiskars®, they’re great, they work for righties and lefties. Need I say more? They have a lifetime warranty, the handle is antimicrobial (unlike other brands, Fiskars® doesn’t brag about this on their packaging, but it’s there, in the fine print) and every art room needs them. ‘Nuff said. Here’s their site
  12. Faber-Castell® Short Colored Pencils – (see above)
  13. Crayola® Construction Paper Crayons – I used to use these in my cart room all the time. They work great on black paper and other dark colors. Not so much on light colored paper. Check them out here. 

Phew! That was tough work. Just so you know, aside from the free goodies some professor leaves on my desk for me, I didn’t receive any sort of compensation from these companies (of course, in the future, if they want to send me free stuff to review, I wouldn’t complain).

* I’m sure you can find them other places too, and probably for cheaper, but I didn’t feel like taking any more time to research it. Sorry.

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